Saturday, August 06, 2005

What Price Love

The cute little cat shown here is Brandy, my lovable little companion. She's been with me for a little over 2 of her 11 years. My daughter rescued her from the animal shelter when she was a kitten and when her job took her to Africa, she said..."Mom, can you take Brandy?" I'd never had a cat before and was really reluctant to say yes. But I did and have never regretted my decision! She is like a little puppy...she's playful, loves to pretend she's being stalked by aliens, loves to sleep on my desk while I sit here and work and is always happy to see me come in the door at the end of the day.

About 6 months ago, she became ill and after many trips to the vet and blood work that was sent to Texas A&M, she was diagnosed as having pancreatitis. She would stop drinking water and for a cat, that can spell out a very rapid decline and death. The first time it happened, I nearly lost her. With each successive episode, I became more and more aware of the symptoms that would lead up to her full blown illness. She is now on prednisone every other day to keep her pancreas happy. Who knows how long a cat can remain on such a potent medication, but she will continue to recieve it as long as it helps her.

After one particularly expensive vet bill, someone commented that no cat was worth that much money. I commented that I had no idea when I would reach the point when I would ask myself if I should continue with the expense. The expense isn't really the issue though. The real issue is her quality of life. If the vet tells me she is in constant pain or unable to walk across the room, I'll rethink my decision to prolong her life. But for now, she's a happy, healthy little animal that returns all the love I show her. When I look at her and softly tell her I love her, she half closes her eyes and starts purring so loud you can hear it from across the room. That's unconditional love. And for me, that's priceless.